CAPE TOWN – Opposition parties rejected the Eskom Debt Relief Bill, saying the move wouldn’t help to resolve the current load shedding crisis.
The parties also said rolling blackouts were affecting the mental health of South Africans as the country braved Stage 5 load shedding.
On Thursday, parties debated the bill that would see National Treasury taking over a portion of Eskom’s more than R400 billion debt.
While some parties support the Eskom Debt Relief Bill, others rejected the move.
The Eskom Debt Relief Bill was proposed by Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana and would provide R254 billion in debt relief for Eskom.
Freedom Front Plus (FF+) member of Parliament (MP) Wouter Wessels said the bill won’t solve the real problem.
“That is outstanding debt. This bill is only addressing that. It is not going to address the fact that there’s generation capacity needed.”
African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) MP Steve Swart said load shedding impacted not just productivity, but mental health.
“It is having an increased negative impact also on the nation’s psyche, on the citizen’s mental health and this is deeply concerning.”
Acting Minister of Finance Mondli Gugngule said the financial stability of Eskom is critical in trying to resolve load shedding and increasing generation.